The Touchdown with a Bad Boss contest is underway! Each week from now until September 1, we will be spotlighting three top solutions we've received on how employees handled a tough boss. For this contest, we want you to submit your story on how you solved a problem with a boss that was "tough to tackle." E-mail your story to firstname.lastname@example.org. At the end of the contest, voting will begin to determine the favorite story of the 12. The person who receives the most votes will win the grand prize. Learn more about this contest and submit your story today!
Top Solutions Submitted from Aug. 2 – Aug. 6
A Team Player Can Tackle Two Bosses
Marisa worked for two tough bosses, each with their own game plans. Marisa’s boss was offended when she brought up a problem with a team leader; but provided her with some tips. Marisa thanked the boss for her tips and followed back up with her when the problem was solved. Marisa also identified that the formerly offended boss was motivated by securing her own position as a team leader. In Marisa’s role as supporting this boss, Marissa made sure to pass on compliments from team members on project completion and appreciation for her contribution. Marisa realized while this boss could get upset easily, the boss rewarded hardworking and proactive staff so Marisa made sure to stay at the top of her game. Additionally, in this role Marisa’s other boss would turn to office politics to further her role as a boss. Marisa saw it was easy to lose when you engage in office politics so the best way to move forward was to stay focused on her job and be a helpful asset to everyone on the team. The more people you are helping out, the greater your value to the team. This eliminates the need for you to join in with office politics. Marisa offers these tips to help improve your relationship with your boss: learn the best way to navigate company culture; appreciate the strengths of your boss; amplify the quality your boss appreciates in you; and earn the respect and support of your co-workers so your boss can join them in celebrating you!
For the Love of the Team
Bruce worked with a manager who was trying to bring his game tactics as a football quarterback from twenty years earlier, into the workplace. The boss’ strategy was to stomp and yell when making a request to ensure he was understood. In a misguided effort to have fun with employees, he would inform them they were fired and then laugh hysterically and tell them it was all a joke. As an HR professional Bruce saw the opportunity to motivate this manager by showing him how his past game experiences could be used in a positive way in the workplace. Bruce suggested the manager draw on the inspirational moments from sports to coach his team into action, rather than relying on intimidation. Bruce feared the manager would not accept this advice, and could even retaliate by firing him. His feedback was instead met with silence at first. A couple of weeks later the team lost a big account, and instead of blowing steam the manager gathered the team together and gave the most motivating speech ever. The manager drew on a sports memory and then went on to tell the team they had the opportunity, strength, and ability to win the account back. The team gave the once-feared manager a standing ovation for his heartfelt speech, and that was the beginning of a new workplace environment. The other great news is that the team did land the account again a year later. By leading up, Bruce was able to score a touchdown with his boss.
Scott was hired by the boss’ wife and the boss didn’t approve of Scott. The boss would voice his frustration by yelling and ordering Scott to clean up unnecessarily-made messes in the restaurant. Instead of being disrespectful or giving up, Scott worked harder and took on extra responsibilities. Eventually, Scott was even able to give his boss advice on increasing the profitability of the restaurant. With all of his actions, Scott became a valued team member, and when he moved on to a new career opportunity, the boss tried to find a way for him to stay. When the boss who tried to throw you from the game makes you the MVP, you know there has been a good change in the game.